CMU went cold in the second half and its late rally came up short Wednesday as it fell to Milwaukee, 84-78, in the Chippewas' third and final game of the showcase at Germain Arena.
"The reason for playing in this type of tournament, one, is to try to prepare for the conference season and the conference tournament where you're playing multiple games in multiple days," Davis said. "And two, to find what you need to work on.
"It's disappointing, obviously, to lose, but that doesn't mean that we're down on what this season can be. When we talked about our team goals coming into the season, winning the Gulf Coast Showcase wasn't at the top of the list. All of our goals are in front of us."
JJ Panoske scored 18 points and Jordan Johnson added 17 to lead Milwaukee (5-3), which used an 18-2 second-half run to build a 64-48 lead with under nine minutes remaining.
CMU managed to claw its way back to within four, 79-75, with under 30 seconds remaining, but could get no closer.
Rayshawn Simmons scored 21 points and dished out seven assists to lead the Chippewas, while Braylon Raysonadded 17 points and Austin Stewart had 12.
Luke Meyer and John Simons led the Chippewas with eight rebounds apiece. CMU outrebounded the Panthers, 38-36.
Simons, a senior forward, scored eight points to become the 30th player in program history with 1,000 career points.
The Chippewas made just 39.7 percent (25 of 63) of their field goal attempts and were 6-for-22 from 3-point range (27.3 percent). They made just one of 13 triple tries in the second half.
In their three tournament games, the Chippewas made 34.6 percent of their field goal attempts including just 26.2 percent from 3-point range, and finished at 62.2 percent from the free throw line.
"We shot horribly over three days," Davis said. "We probably won't see a shooting effort like that again, and yet in two of the games they were one- and two-possession games late, with a chance to win.
"I thought we saw some real bright spots from our guys and we also saw some things we need to shore up."
The Chippewas have been without starting guard Chris Fowler all season because of an injury, and they were already shorthanded due to a season-ending injury to key reserve Blake Hibbitts.
"With the absence of Blake and the absence of Chris we're learning about different roles and we'll probably improve as a team because of it," Davis said.
The injuries have clearly taken a toll on the Chippewas' depth as Davis employed a rotation comprising primarily seven players, while working in a few others here and there.
"I don't think there's any doubt that fatigue with a shorter bench was a big part of not being able to finish," Davis said. "But we want to be careful not to use that as an excuse, but rather figure out ways to win when we are shorthanded.
"It's about what we can do in conference (play) and what we can do if we hopefully get a chance to play in the postseason. Hopefully we'll be able to look back on these three games where we really got better as a team. That's the key element."